France's attempts to get the EU Council of Ministers to sign up in principle to a farmer-friendly and potentially protectionist Common Agricultural Policy in the long-term have been blocked by the UK, Sweden and Latvia.

France was only able to present its ideas as "presidency conclusions" which did not have the force of a Council agreement, even though Paris had substantially watered down its ideas, Michael Mann, European Commission spokesman for agriculture, told just-food.

An earlier draft by France had spoken of "community preference" which could have opened the door to tariff barriers in food.